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US-Ugandan collaboration breathes life into local maternity services

By Guest BloggerPosted on November 13, 2012Comments: (24)

This is a follow-up piece to September blog entry "Covering Ground in Kisozi."

On October 14th, armed with a simulation baby and a wealth of educational media, Dr Ernani Sadural and Professor Jared Kutzin traveled from the US to the E&E Health Clinic in Kisozi, Uganda, a facility operated by Dutch-Ugandan NGO Hope Alive Uganda. Excitement in the run-up to the US team’s visit had been running high and the team, accompanied by Hope Alive Uganda co-founder and Kisozi village representative Eddy Mpoya and managing director Simon Peter Oullo, hit the ground running.

The trip was originally conceived early in 2012 by Nabuur volunteer Kirsti Shields working with Rochester NY-based non-profit Journeys of Solutions. It's purpose was two-fold: to train local clinicians in essential life-saving techniques as well as to help assess ongoing needs and identify directions for future growth. The team focused its efforts during the first part of the week on key training needs identified during pre-trip discussions with the E&E clinic staff. Priority was given to teaching critical life-saving techniques such as infant resuscitation and management of breathing difficulties in infants and children. The team brought materials from the US needed to implement an internationally endorsed program called Helping Babies Breathe, and also trained local clinicians in cervical-cancer screening techniques. An add-on visit to the nearest hospital, 48 km away, enabled Dr Sadural to extract a commitment from senior OB/GYN Dr Charles Balloga, that he would help treat any women identified as at-risk by the cervical cancer screening.

The second part of the week focused on identifying ongoing and future clinic needs and trying to understand the day-to-day difficulties faced by the Ugandan team in treating patients in a low resource remote village setting. Several basic but pressing needs were prioritized: a refrigerator with a thermostat in which to store vaccines for children, a fire extinguisher, a spotlight to provide illumination when suturing birthing lacerations and a supply of oxygen for patients with respiratory ailments. The biggest priority identified by the team was the need for a reliable ambulance service to transport critical patients to the nearest hospital – a staggering 48 km away in the town of Jinja.

Currently, patients requiring emergency care must travel down 40 km of unpaved rough dirt road. By car, the journey takes a full hour. Frequent rain makes it virtually impassable for weeks at a stretch. At night, the lack of lighting creates lethal conditions. There’s a clear need for an ambulance – but currently no funds with which to buy one. A strategically engineered motorcycle ambulance might be a solution - ether way, the need for a reliable, safe means of transportation was identified by all staff as critical.

The trip was rounded out by a tour of the local schools and a rousing musical performance by the children of St Mary's primary school before the US-team headed home – at least, for now. “We’re looking forward to working together with HAU and E&E center on further training programs and hope to return next summer with more medical volunteers,” said Dr Sadural. “I believe we can really help the E&E medical center become a first rate primary care facility.”

The response of staff at the Kisozi clinic was equally optimistic. “Valuable training was provided,” says Esther Haaisma, E&E Clinic Director. “It’s given the clinic a great boost. Thanks to Dr Sadural’s visit, we can help save more lives now. We can help more people.”

Mission achieved.

Covering ground in Kisozi, Uganda.

By Guest BloggerPosted on September 01, 2012Comments: (12)

For years, the term “marathon labor” has held a very literal meaning for the women of Kisozi, Uganda.

“26 miles is the distance pregnant women have to travel – on foot or motorbike – to the nearest hospital when there are complications during labor,” explains Esther Haaisma, Kisozi village representative and Director of Hope Alive Uganda, a Dutch-Ugandan NGO.

In the past few years, HAU has funded construction of a critically under-resourced maternity clinic in Kisozi village. “Our staff are equipped to deal with routine pregnancy issues,” explains Haaisma. “But non-routine issues or complications necessitate a marathon journey to Kampala.”

I’ve looked at this road on Google-Earth. It’s rough, desperately dry, and visibly littered with holes, vehicles and livestock. I’m not surprised to learn that the staggering 52 mile round trip to hospital – undertaken equally perilously on foot or taxi – claims an unthinkable number of lives each year. The unrelenting heat, hazardous road conditions, and critically, the precipitating medical complication - an obstructed labor, for example, or placental hemorrhage – wreak a desperate toll on the already-weakened mother and child. “Many women die at the side of the road,” says Haaisma. “Many others simply become too weak to survive hospital treatment.”

Now, thanks to a unique collaboration between Hope Alive Uganda and Journey of Solutions, a Rochester, New York-based NGO, Haaisma hopes that fewer women will have to undertake this devastating journey.
“Nabuur volunteer Kirsti Shields helped us connect with Dr Ernani Sadural, a US-based OB/GYN who through his non-profit organization LIG Global travels to under-served areas to provide medical/surgical treatments,” explains Haaisma. “Recognizing the profound need for a preferential option in Kisozi – a way of managing routine pregnancy complications locally - Dr Sadural quickly offered to visit Kisozi in person to provide critical obstetric training to our Ugandan-trained clinic staff.“

Dr Sadural’s visit is scheduled for October. Travelling with a US-based nurse practitioner, Ernani will train Ugandan practioners in procedures such as Cesarean Sections that will ultimately save lives and keep more of Kisozi’s women off the dreaded Road of Bones. He’ll also educate the clinic’s midwives and physician about cervical cancer screening.

Excitement in Kisozi is high in the run-up to Ernani’s trip. “It’s important for our midwives and physicians to receive this valuable training,” explains Haaisma. “It’s going to help us save a lot of lives.”

As Director, however, Haaisma must also keep an eye on practicalities. “This training is absolutely critical,” report Haaisma, “but now we need to fund-raise aggressively so that we can equip the clinic properly and create a safe, appropriate environment in which to conduct the new techniques.”

Haaisma’s wish-list includes necessary medical-surgical items as well as basics such as routine pharmaceuticals but it also reveals the clinic’s more elementary needs. “We have a desperate need for beds here,” explains Haaisma. “Currently laboring women lie on improvised mattresses on the floor, but if we’re to increase the quality and comfort of care for our mothers, we need beds and dividing curtains for the ward.”

Recognizing the need to properly outfit the clinic before Dr Sadural’s arrival, Journey of Solutions has posted a special link on its webpage (www.journeyofsolutions.com) to enable people to donate monies to help fund the beds – which will be built locally at a low cost - $33 each, according to Haaisma, with an additional $100 needed to furnish bedding, mattresses and mosquito nets.

“We’re hoping to get ten beds before Dr Sadural’s visit in October,” says Haaisma. “After that, our goal is to get a vehicle that we can use for transporting women to hospital for those cases where we can’t manage their needs in-house.”

There’s a lot of fund-raising ground to cover before the maternity clinic becomes self-sustaining but the project’s already passed some important milestones. Dr Sadural’s upcoming visit promises to be the next big mile marker. “If we can get the clinic furnished appropriately and master these life-saving procedures, we’ll be well on our way,” says Haaisma.

Check back in with the Nabuur Blog in October for an updated account of Dr Sadural’s visit to Kisozi village.

Making the Whole Month Count for girls in Kasese, Uganda.

By Guest BloggerPosted on June 12, 2012Comments: (13)

Educating girls is widely regarded as one of the best ways to improve the economy and health of developing countries (www.girleffect.org.). Yet few people realize that one of the biggest obstacles to female education is Menstruation.

The World Health Organization estimates that in developing countries, girls typically lose two full weeks of schooling a term because of menstruation. Some of this fall-out is logistical - pads are rarely available in rural Uganda and improvised supplies made from rags leave girls vulnerable to damaging reproductive tract infections - and some of it is cultural.

In rural Uganda, for example, menstruating girls is regarded as something unclean and shameful. Considered too impure to participate in school and community activities, most girls simply disappear for a week or so every month.

“There’s a conspiracy of silence here," explains Samuel Ndungo, Director of LUYODEFO, a non-profit, non-government organization that provides support to marginalized communities across the Kasese district of western Uganda. "Many girls lack even the most basic information about puberty, menstruation and reproductive health - and what they do know is often inaccurate, putting them at high risk for early or unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. There's a lot of fear. There’s a lot of misinformation. There are a lot of unanswered questions."

"That’s where we can help," says Ndungo. "By educating, advocating for, and empowering our girls.”

Central to Ndungo’s work is the Sanitary Ware Project, a program that aims to equip girls in rural primary schools with special reusable sanitary pads.

“Girls in Kasese don’t have many options for managing their menses,” Ndungo explains. “Disposable pads are prohibitively expensive and reusable pads are in very short supply. As a result, most girls use old rags as sanitary napkins.”

Pressurized to keep their sanitary supplies out of sight, many girls store and dry their pads in damp, insanitary places where they harbor bacteria. This predisposes girls to potentially devastating urinary and reproductive tract infections that can permanently damage fertility and reproductive health. The lack of protection also increases the girls’ absenteeism from school due to fear and embarrassment of leaking and soiling.

Regular absence from school due to menstruation, infection or child pregnancy results in girls having generally lower educational achievements and reduced social, economic, and employment prospects relative to male peers. Maternal education has been conclusively linked to child and family health because of the link between literacy and a mother’s ability to access health information. Absenteeism therefore impacts the health and development not just of the individual, but of the family and wider social community too. “By helping girls manage menstruation, we can change the health and dynamics of the entire community.”

The Sanitary Ware Project falls under the umbrella of a wider Sexuality and Health Education (SHE) project that educates girls about puberty, personal hygiene, sexuality and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS. It’s just one arm of LUYODEFO’s work to empower girls – but it’s an important one that’s already opening doors for Kasese’s girls.

The response of beneficiaries has been overwhelming, but demand continues to outstrip supply - and available funds. Now LUYODEFO is working on finding ways to partner with other suppliers of sanitary materials and ultimately, on finding a way to manufacture the pads locally. A dedicated fundraising site (The Moon Fund) has been set up under Everribbon.org. “So far we’ve distributed the reusable pads to more than 200 girls in 4 primary schools,” says Ndungo. “There’s a long way to go, but already we’re increasing attendance in those four schools.

It’s hard to overestimate the impact of this. Monthly absence from school means that girls typically attain lower overall education levels than boys, further amplifying the male-female inequality that shapes community and family structures throughout the developing world.

“This isn’t just about raising attendance though,” Ndungo is quick to point out. “It’s about raising the profile of girls at home, at school, and in the community. It’s about teaching them to advocate for themselves. It’s about telling them to be proud. It’s about telling them they have the right to be healthy and educated.”

The implications of this are significant. Today’s young girls will teach the next generation about puberty, sexuality, and reproductive health. The conspiracy of silence will have been broken. “By helping girls feel empowered we really can create social change,” insists Ndungo. “We can challenge old ideas. Girls who feel empowered are going to ask questions and push to get their questions answered. They’re going to understand what’s happening to their bodies, and be able to make informed decisions that keep them healthy and safe.”

For an ecologically sound product that carries a less-than-$4-a-year price-tag, that’s a pretty impressive achievement.

Kirsti Shields

Spirit of Competition unites Kisinga villages

By Guest BloggerPosted on March 27, 2012Comments: (8)

Community health and wellness promotion took a sporting turn in Luhwahwa in December when a thousand people rallied in support of LUYODEFO’s 2011 Tournament for Change (TFC).

Change is the operative word here. TFC is a high-profile and highly-anticipated community soccer match – but it’s also one with a high-stakes game plan - Education.

As twelve teams from Kisinga sub-county battled for control of play on-pitch, bigger goals – the kind that reshape entire communities - were being pursued off pitch. “Between games and during half-time intervals, the players and almost one thousand spectators discussed critical issues like HIV awareness and the education of girls,” says Sylvia Biira, Kajwenge village representative, and Chairperson of the Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO.) “These topics are difficult to talk about. Integrating the information sessions into something that’s fun and brings the whole community together makes sense. AIDS, the education of girls, community development – these are things that affect us all.”

The 2011 TFC evolved from a pilot event staged in 2001 which generated a strong community response. “The idea of using on-field rivalry to build off-field unity worked,” said Biira, “but we needed to make some changes. This time we used local radio to promote the event and mobilized community teams to pitch the idea to local businesses.” It was a good call. Collectively, these marketing strategies resulted in almost $650 in sponsorship being raised to support the teams. “It’s still an evolving process,” Biira notes, “ but we’ll take what we learned this time to make the next Tournament for Change ever better.”

Trophies awarded to the winning teams were highly prized but Biira is quick to point out that in a competition like this there are no losers. Each team walked away with a commemorative soccer-ball and the knowledge that they had been part of something important. “Our goal – pun intended – was to get people talking about community health and development,” Biira explains. “In 24 hours, our message of change reached over a thousand people. It was the top story on the local FM radio station. That’s the real win here.”

The energy generated on and off pitch by Biira’s Tournament For Change has created a new challenge. “Now there’s a strong demand coming from the community to get more sports programs up and running for local youth,” explains Biira. “We need to expand LUYODEFO’s resources to give our youth more opportunities – not only in sport, but in education and entrepreneurship too.” These concepts – empowerment, innovation, and sustainability – drive the group’s work and over the last ten years have spawned a diverse range of community projects (visit LUYODEFO.org for a list of current programs.) And they don’t show signs of slowing down though. “We need to help our young people recognize and achieve their potential,” says Biira. “And ensure that their needs and rights are met..”

Now there’s a goal worth shooting for.”

Blog post by Kirsti Shields

Youth Group's briquette-making venture creates sparks in Wakitaka village

By Guest BloggerPosted on December 14, 2011Comments: (13)

Blog post by Kirsti Shields

Six months after landing a prestigious grant to implement a revolutionary cooking technology that uses local-generated waste to make clean-burning fuel briquettes, Emmanuel Menya, Wakitaka village local representative, reports on the Cook Clean and Save the Environment (CCASTE) Program’s vital signs. “We’ve had a lot of successes,” he notes. “And we’ve learned a lot. It’s an evolving process.”

At the heart of the CCASTE program are the area’s youth. “Our young people needed to learn business, leadership and entrepreneurial skills,” Menya explains. “As they go through the CCASTE Program training we teach them important sales and marketing skills. They learn the importance of innovation. Those that go on to start their own business can apply their skills to real-life business solutions that benefit their local community.”

During the first six months of the program, interest has been strong. As of November 2011, forty youth have graduated from the first training program. Three have already started running their own briquette manufacturing enterprise. Almost twenty more have used their new business skills to start a variety of other innovative ventures, diversifying, and at the same time feeding, the local economy.

During the first six months of the program, the number of program beneficiaries has increased three-fold from thirty to ninety. “Before the Cook Clean and Save the Environment Project none of our youth had access to this kind of training,” Menya explains. “Now they’re learning to generate and implement their own business ideas. It’s very exciting.” Enrollment in the next wave of trainings is expected to be high. A visit to an established – and very successful – briquette-manufacturing facility in Kampala attracted a large turnout, and ten local youth have already been trained as “trainers of new trainers,” increasing the program’s potential to teach new trainees.

Interest in using the new fuel is high too. In the last six months CCASTE educators conducted awareness campaigns to educate local residents about the health, economic and ecological benefits of switching to the new technology. Despite patchy turn-out due to poor weather and conflicting local events, over three hundred individuals attended the two sessions.
The biggest challenge, according to Menya, is that at the moment demand for the new briquettes far outstrips supply.

“An overwhelming number of youth are interested in starting up briquette-making ventures” Menya explains, “but for most youth the high cost of the manufacturing technology remains prohibitive.” Part of the problem is that local youth lack a strong saving culture. According to an extensive baseline survey conducted during this first phase of the project, almost 60% of local youth serve as head of household. For these youth, family responsibilities restrict the amount of money they have available to save. But even among youth with fewer obligations, Menya points out, saving habits are poor.

To promote good saving habits and build a reservoir of funds for the community to draw on, CCASTE ran a series of training and education sessions focusing on how to save and use credit facilities responsibly. Early results are encouraging. In the first six months, ten youth bought into the Youth Group’s newly-created revolving Savings Program.

With the CCASTE program up and running and people lining up to make – and use – the new briquettes, the future for Wakitaka’s youth looks bright. Two years ago, the majority of the village’s youth were looking at a very different kind of future. Now, armed with key entrepreneurial skills and access to a ripening communal savings fund, they have the chance to pursue their business dreams. Those aren’t the only gains. Thanks to the cleaner-burning and ecologically-sound new fuel, the village’s physical landscape – its kitchens and woodlands – will be healthier.

“It’s been an encouraging first six months, but there’s a long way to go,” Menya cautions. “We need to increase the Wakitaka Youth Group’s resources so that we can support more youth. We need to instill a stronger savings culture in our youth and encourage entrepreneurs to invest in and access the community saving fund. We need to bring supply in line with demand.”

Menya may be right - there may still be a long way to go. But right now – thanks to Menya’s Cook Clean and Save the Environment Program - a new future is being built in Wakitaka village.

One briquette at a time.

Paul Kilelu --- Fighting for a Noble Cause

By Guest BloggerPosted on November 21, 2011Comments: (5)

By Halima Tahirkheli

Nabuur is pleased to introduce you to Paul Kilelu, the local representative of the Kajiado village. His dedication to fight against poverty and social equality led him to provide assistance to the International Center for the Conservation of African Range Land (ICCAR), an organization aimed at alleviating poverty, promoting woman's right, and environmental protection in Kenya.

Paul grew up in a humble background. As a child, he was responsible to look after his father's goats and cows. But he was still able to achieve good academic results in primary school, which landed him a position at a Government secondary institution. After obtaining a secondary education, Paul desperately wanted to enroll in college. But due to financial problems, he was not able to attend immediately. Paul decided to start his own business of selling and purchasing livestock in the market. He was successful in his business and decided to pursue further education in international computer driving license and aviation technology.

After graduating from college, Paul noticed many people in his community were selling their land to purchase basic needs for themselves and their family member. Selling land goes against the Kenyan culture, because many Kenyan people have a close relationship with their environment and depend on their land to grow their own ethnic food and medicinal plants. This made him realizes that he wanted to help his community to escape poverty and help them live in peace with their natural surroundings. Paul specifically wanted to find alternative ways for the local people to make a profit without selling their land.

In 2004, Paul Kilelu joined team with Philip Koitelel Pikaany and formed ICCAR. Philip is a devoted Christian with one wife and three children. He has been actively involved in fighting against poverty and gender inequality for many years. He is also a former United Nations Volunteer and was involved in assisting the government employee to address the increasing negative impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya. With his hard work and determination, Philip has successfully built eighteen Ministerial AIDS control units formed to focus on government employee.

For over two decades, temperature warming is affecting the pastoralism Maa community. Through research and attending numerous conservation forums, Paul gained a lot of knowledge on this conservation approach. One of the highlight of the project was when Paul had the opportunity to travel to New York City to attend a forum at the United Nations headquarter. Paul learned a lot about effective ways to implement an environmental project by Government officials and people who worked in various non government organizations.

Afterward, Paul and Philip decided to help the community to adopt alternative livelihood compatible with range land conservation in order for them to cope with climate change. Paul and Philip started to work with various women groups and mixed community groups on sustainable livelihoods and environmental conservation.

The organization ICCAR focuses on using Eco-tourism, tourism that contributes to the protection of the environment, in their project in order to allow the local people to manage their land in a sustainable manner, as well as earn a reasonable income at the same time. ICCAR deals with community based Eco-tourism by linking conservation with livelihoods of the community.

While Paul and Philip were developing projects to help the powerless group to live in peace with the environment, they and their team members faced major challenges from the community and local politicians, as well as they lacked the funds to implement the project. But with the help of Jazz for Peace, a musical band, they were able to raise some money through musical fund-raising. Philip and Paul are very grateful to Rick Delarata, a band member of Jazz for Peace, for making the event a great success. Without their help, both men were not able to get any financial support for the organization. The project became popular to local people in the community and more men and women are seeking to be part of the project.

Currently Paul and his co-workers are busy with another project. They are developing a community garden to allow many local women to grow nutritious food and medicinal plants for themselves and their family members. The project also allows women to gain employment and enables them to be financially secure. Paul and his co-workers are seeking funding for the project and hopefully their plan can be implemented in the near future.

Paul feels that the environment is a serious issue in this society. He feels that many cooperation and powerful people degrade the environment for their own economic gains. The marginalized group suffers the consequences because they depend on the environment for their basic needs. As the environment continues to deteriote, the poor people will continue suffer from diseases, hunger, and illnesses, due to society's careless attitude toward the environment.

Due to the current environmental problem many people face daily in their lives, Paul strongly believes that there needs to an implementation of sustainable and conservation projects that serve at a local, national, and international level to assist the poor people to live in peace and dignity with their land. As more people become educated about the severe issue, they will realize the importance of environmental protection and make a conscious effort to not degrade the ecosystem. One way Paul believes people can fight for environmental protection is to volunteer at ICCAR. By helping the organization, they can fight against poverty, gender inequality, and environmental degradation. He is currently seeking volunteers at Nabuur to assist with his environmental projects. We are thrilled to have Paul as part the Nabuur community.

NABUUR Turns 10!

By Pelle AardemaPosted on October 30, 2011Comments: (8)

NABUUR, the Global Neighbour Network, turned 10 today!
To celebrate this fact, we've put together a timeline with NABUUR milestones, newsletters, videos and stories from the ground - showing NABUUR's development over time.

Looking back, these 10 years have been a continuous journey of trying, testing, often failures, successes, but (hopefully) most of all learning. But also a journey with sometimes rather unbelievable stories of perseverance, ingenuity and collaboration to overcome local challenges.

Of course these results would never have been achieved without the support from volunteers all around the world. On behalf of all the communities that have benefited from your ideas and efforts, I'd like to say a heartfelt"Thank you!" for 10 years of your continuous support!

I hope you'll enjoy a walk down memory lane!

Pelle Aardema

Click here to open the timeline in full screen. (goes to an external site)

Internet Access, an Award Winning Film, and a Successful Day of Soccer in Zambia

By Guest BloggerPosted on September 28, 2011Comments: (2)

By Hary Mitchell

YOFOSO Reopens Internet Café

After over 13 months of inactivity, Youth for Sport, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (YOFOSO) in Zambia reopened their fully functional internet café at the social centre, complete with four laptops and two desktops. Having a reliable internet source at the centre will help YOFOSO to reduce the costs spent on transportation and internet usage from the other cafes.

Adding to the excitement, friends of YOFOSO have already prepaid for three months of internet service, and YOFOSO has also received two donated laptops. Due to the generosity of their friends, YOFOSO was able to donate two of their own desktops—one to a local soccer team that has managed to build a business centre to raise funds for their team, and the other one to a retired worker who wants to set up a business centre.

Having internet at the centre will help the children at YOFOSO who have been developing computer skills. Four children are currently being trained in website development and management, and it is projected that in a few months they will begin teaching their friends.

One senior youth, Leonard Charles Phiri, has already been trained in video production at a leading local institute and was able to use his skills while working as a camera assistant for the award-winning film “Mwansa the Great.” Leonard is now passing this knowledge to the younger children.

YOFOSO’s Children Featured in Award-Winning Movie

The children from Garden compound in Lusaka, Zambia, are now receiving international recognition from Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni's award-winning film Mwansa the Great. Scheduled for twenty-five different festivals, the film has been traveling the world all this year, making notable stops in Madrid's Cineposible International Festival, the VIS Vienna Independent Shorts, the Tarifa African Film Festival (Spain), Curtocircuito Na Rúa (Spain), and the London International Film Festival.

Nine year old Samuel Mwale has been coming to the centre at YOFOSO since its inception, excelling in drama and traditional drumming. The pinnacle of Samuel's emerging career so far is his starring role as the young Mwansa in “Mwansa the Great”.

Samuel Mwale's acting skills earned him a scholarship, even before he starred in "Mwansa the Great." His school fees are paid for up to grade twelve. This is particularly beneficial to young Samuel and his family, since his father died in in 2006, leaving his mother to care for him and his four sisters.

The soundtrack of “Mwansa the Great” features the traditional drumming of seven to ten of YOFOSO's children. Also, a senior youth at YOFOSO, Leonard Charles Phiri, also worked as the camera assistant for “Mwansa the Great”. Leonard was trained in video production at a leading local institute and is now sharing his knowledge with the younger children at the centre.

Zambians and the community of the YOFOSO social centre eagerly await “Mwansa the Great” to return from its world travels and finally screen in Zambia. The creators of the film are working on exposing the film internationally before returning to Zambia. American film festivals in Austin and Chicago have decided at the last minute to screen the film in October, so there is evidence that is gaining a lot of ground.

Lusaka Tournament a Success


chawama-6

With the successes of the inaugural Lusaka Tournament, Lusaka and the surrounding compounds experienced firsthand the joining of a profound vision and extensive community collaboration. This monumental youth sports tournament and health awareness event was held the week of August 22nd in the Chiwama compound of Lusaka, Zambia. 56 teams came from 7 compounds of Lusaka to compete in soccer and netball, while learning valuable life lessons in religion and HIV/AIDS safety.

The Garden compound's own Young Gunner's competed valiantly and came within sight of total victory. The under 10 Young Gunners ultimately lost to Mr. C.D Academy of Chaisa Compound in the semifinals, while the under 17 Young Gunners were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Black Boys of the Matero Compound. Although neither of YOFOSO's teams won it all, both the Young Gunners lost to the eventual champions in their age group.


young gunners

The overall success and impact of the Lusaka Tournament depended on the strong partnerships created by the organizing committee chaired by Mulenga Cliff", founder of Youth for Sport, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (YOFOSO). Every evening, Campus Crusade for Christ-Zambia taught the Word of God to the visiting teams camped at the community school, Cobete. Grassroots Soccer, a leading NGO dealing with HIV/AIDS issues among the youths in Zambia, educated the youths about safe health practices, gave counseling, and even tested some of the participants for HIV. More than 450 youths graduated from their program at the end of the tournament.


chawama-4


chawama-2

The Lusaka Tournament was an initiative by the Lusaka Youth Sport Initiative, a network of local coaches from the participating communities. Because of the lack of funds for the tournament, each team had to pay a small participating fee, the highest being K50,000 (about $10 USD) for the under 17 teams.
Alive & Kicking" donated five balls, while Grassroots Soccer" donated three balls and two jerseys. These donations, plus six trophies and six sets of jerseys purchased from the participation fees, served as the prizes.

“We are hoping that this is not the last event we will be holding,” committee chairman Mulenga Cliff says. “It is our sincere hope that we be able to find sponsors for our event, as community teams have an uphill battles to raise funds to participate in the tournament.”

The communities surrounding Lusaka, and the children from the Garden active with YOFOSO, will experience the longterm legacy of the Lusaka Tournament for years to come. The partnerships made within the community are strong, with some pledging to continue support, but there can never be enough guarantees.


chawama-5

Young Gunners Soccer Team to Participate in the Lusaka Tournament

By Guest BloggerPosted on August 19, 2011Comments: (2)

By Guest Blogger Hary Mitchell

In Zambia, the YOFOSO sponsored soccer team from Garden, the Young Gunners, is about to get a chance to win it all, as the communities of Lusaka prepare for the Lusaka Tournament. This week-long sports festival and soccer tournament will be held August 22nd through 28th, with the crew at YOFOSO heading and hosting the coordinating committee.

The games will be played at a number of different schools throughout Lusaka. YOFOSO has paired up with a network of local coaches, the Lusaka Based Youth Sport Initiative, and will offer soccer tournaments for over 20 teams, each with the following age groups: boys under 10, boys under 12, boys under 14, boys under 17, and girls under 16.

The Lusaka Tournament has received abundant support from the community and other organizations. There has already been a donation of five soccer balls from the organization Alive and Kicking. These balls, along with trophies and a set of jerseys, will serve as prizes for the winning teams. In addition to the actual tournament, the staff of YOFOSO has collaborated with Grassroots Soccer to teach the participants about HIV/AIDS, and Campus Crusade to teach the Word of God.

“At the end of the day, the lesson that the teams will learn will be of great help to the kids,” YOFOSO's founder Mulenga says. “HIV/AIDS lessons have already started. Also, the kids are spending their school break learning. During this time, they could have instead chosen to get involved in the many bad vices that are found in our communities.”

In a county where the percentage of adults living with HIV/ AIDS is over 13%, health education and safe sex education is crucial for the community. It was estimated that in 2009, there were 200 new HIV infections every day. YOFOSO is eager to pair the children's excitement about sports with the important health lessons that will have lasting impact on a generation.

nabuur.com has moved to a new server

By Rolf KleefPosted on June 10, 2011Comments: (8)

Today nabuur.com moved to a new server. As Jennifer wrote in her announcement: we took the opportunity to clean up some content. This serves two purposes:

  • Volunteers will more easily find villages that are active.
  • The website should work faster because there is less content to filter through.

If you're reading this message as a NABUUR volunteer or local representative, you hopefully find all your content still ok. We did our best to make sure all active villages and all neighbours are still available. (We have a backup copy of all previous content, so if you do miss something: get in touch!)

  • The number of villages has been reduced from 235 to 93, and the villages that started but never finished their registration process have been removed too.
  • The number of groups has been reduced (less dramatically).
  • All user accounts have been moved to the new site. (We'll clean up unused accounts later on)
  • We removed a few blocks of "related content" from various pages, to speed up page delivery: "neighbours who could help", "organisations of interest", and "similar villages".
  • We've temporarily switched off Google Adwords, so there are less visitors to the site at the same time.

We also did house-keeping on some of the services we use to keep the organisation running:

  • The documents archive is getting organised (on Google Docs) and has a public section that you can reach via https://bit.ly/nabuur-docs The meeting notes of our community chat sessions are on there.
  • We also created a Google Calendar to share important events, such as upcoming community chats, the server move, and so on. If you're using an online calendar yourself, you can add our events to it, via https://bit.ly/nabuur-calendar
  • We used to have a special site with documentation for developers. We've retrieved all the information from that site, and are going to publish that via for instance https://github.com/nabuur/nabuur-d5
  • We have a (new) public tracker to share what we're working on: https://www.pivotaltracker.com/projects/292585

All in all, we're happy with the results so far, and are looking forward to seeing the site run with its normal traffic. We'll continue to work on performance improvements and clean-up in the coming weeks.

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